Prevalence of dating violence among sexual minority youth: Variation across gender, sexual minority identity and gender of sexual partners
Martin-Storey A. (2015). Prevalence of dating violence among sexual minority youth: Variation across gender, sexual minority identity and gender of sexual partners. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 44: 211-224.
Dating violence during adolescence negatively influences concurrent psychosocial functioning, and has been linked with an increased likelihood of later intimate partner violence. Identifying who is most vulnerable for this negative outcome can inform the development of intervention practices addressing this problem. The two goals of this study were to assess variations in the prevalence of dating violence across different measures of sexual minority status (e.g., sexual minority identity or same-sex sexual behavior), and to assess whether this association was mediated by bullying, the number of sexual partners, binge drinking or aggressive behaviors. These goals were assessed by employing the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey (N = 12,984), a regionally representative sample of youth ages 14-18. In this sample, a total of 540 girls and 323 boys reported a non-heterosexual identity, and 429 girls and 230 boys reported having had one or more same-sex sexual partners. The results generally supported a higher prevalence of dating violence among sexual minority youth. This vulnerability varied considerably across gender, sexual minority identity and the gender of sexual partners, but generally persisted when accounting for the mediating variables. The findings support investigating dating violence as a mechanism in the disparities between sexual minority and heterosexual youth, and the importance of addressing sexual minority youth specifically in interventions targeting dating violence.